Loss, Change & Grief
Formal Definition of Depression
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Formal Definition of Depression

Formal Diagnosis of Major Depression
The following criteria are taken from the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

For your convenience, a general listing of signs and symptoms of depression, the translated version, follows the formal diagnostic criteria, for ease in interpreting the symptoms.

For a diagnosis of a major depression:

Signs and Symptoms - General Terms Psychological symptoms: Feelings, thoughts and behaviors Physical or "Somatic" Symptoms
Copyright 1996 Pfizer Inc. Common Symptoms of Depression.*
If you are feeling like harming yourself or someone else, or are feeling depressed, helpless or hopeless, Call 911, your local suicide hot-line, or Crisis Intervention line, located in the Yellow Pages, or contact the Samaritans via e-mail at:

Call someone--a friend, or family member, your clergy or physician. Look in the Yellow pages under Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists, if you feel you may need immediate professional assistance.

If you or anyone you know seems to be experiencing depression, consider taking one of the quizzes on the other depression pages, Self Assessment Quiz or  Wakefield Questionnaire and contact your health care provider, counselor, clergy member or social worker and get the help you need.

Last updated June 21, 1998
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